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Viewing Blog: Poetry for Children, Most Recent at Top
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Professor at Texas Woman's University, editor of LIBRARIANS' CHOICES, avid reader, movie lover, and zealous traveller
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26. PFAS: “Climate vs. Weather” by Joan Bransfield Graham

Lauren S. has gotten children involved in reading aloud the poem for her movie adaptation of Joan Bransfield Graham’s poem, “Climate vs. Weather.”

Look for it here.

You’ll find this interesting poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 17: Weather & Climate.

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27. PFAS: “Teacher’s Look” by Shirley Smith Duke

Cara S. uses images of hands and pens and a frowning teacher along with fun background sound effects to tell the story behind Shirley Smith Duke’s poem, “Teacher’s Look.”

Check it out here (below).

You’ll find this engaging poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 13: Light & Sound.

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28. PFAS: “Dinos in the Laboratory” by Kristy Dempsey

Sarah S. uses story-like LEGO images and fun dino “roar” sound effects to dramatize Kristy Dempsey’s clever poem, “Dinos in the Laboratory.” 

Check it out here.

You’ll find this clever poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 2: Lab Safety.

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29. PFAS: “Albert Einstein” by Julie Larios

Emma R. has created the next poem movie, complete with kids chiming in on the final word. Plus she includes kid comments and another reading of the poem along with the text of the poem. 

Click here to see Emma's video for “Albert Einstein” by Julie Larios.

Look for this poem in the 4th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 31: Famous Scientists.

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30. PFAS: “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs

Watch for the ending image of the smiling girl with glasses in this fun poem movie created by Shelly P. for “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs.

Click here now.

You’ll find this poem in Week 25 in the 1st Grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

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31. PFAS: “Let’s All Be Scientists” by Renee M. LaTulippe

Today Melinda L. features “Let’s All Be Scientists” by Renee M. LaTulippe. I think she really captures the spirit of the poem with her nature images and jaunty background music. Plus she includes a second reading by children, too! Check it out.

Click here.

You’ll find this poem in 2nd grade, Week 1 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science

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32. PFAS: “Sound Waves at Breakfast” by Susan Marie Swanson

Today Nancy D. features “Sound Waves” by Susan Marie Swanson. I think she really captures the spirit of the poem with her great sound effects and kids chiming in on key words. Check it out.

Click here to watch and listen.

You’ll find this poem in 2nd grade, Week 13 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science

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33. PFAS: “Food for Thought” by Robyn Hood Black

Vanessa D. features “Food for Thought” by Robyn Hood Black in her poem movie project. But don’t watch this if you’re hungry—there are heaps of food pictures!

Watch the video now by clicking here.

You’ll find this poem in 4th grade, Week 26 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science

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34. PFAS: “This Week’s Weather” by Janet Wong

Tammy G. chose "This Week's Weather" by Janet Wong for her poem movie creation and even included a weather reporter!

Watch her movie by clicking here.

Check out The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Third Grade, Week 17.

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35. PFAS: "Discovery/Descubrimiento" by Margarita Engle

I am so pleased that several bilingual poems (in Spanish and English) are featured in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. And I was so gratified that Patrina G chose one of those bilingual poems for her poetry movie project,"Discovery/Descumbrimiento" by Margarita Engle. Plus, she even offers a reading of the poem in both English and Spanish in her video.

Watch it by clicking here. 

Look for this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Second Grade, Week 4.

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36. PFAS: “Superhero Scientist” by Joan Bransfield Graham

Danielle D uses techno-music and fun images of science lab equipment to animate Joan Bransfield Graham's poem, "Superhero Scientist." 

Click here to watch this poem video.

Look in Kindergarten, Week 2 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science for the "Take 5" activities that accompany this poem.

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37. PFAS: “Playground Physics” by Jeannine Atkins

Crystal A uses real children in videos of playground scenes in her poem movie for "Playground Physics" by Jeannine Atkins.

Click here to watch it now.

Look for this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Fifth grade, Week 4.

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38. PFAS: “Cicada” by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Ashley A uses minimalist imagery and cicada sound effects to dramatize "Cicada" by Guadalupe Garcia McCall.

Click here to watch Ashley's movie interpretation of the poem.

This poem is also available in both English and Spanish-- an extra bonus.

You'll find this gem in Fifth Grade, Week 23 of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

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39. PFAS: “Meter Stick” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

This poem, "Meter Stick" by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, makes learning metric measurement so much fun-- especially in Irene K's clever poem movie. 

Click here to watch it now. 

Look for this poem in Second Grade, Week 8 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.

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40. PFAS: “Old Water” by April Halprin Wayland

Check out all these fun images of animals playing in water, as Chris A visualizes April Halprin Wayland's poem, "Old Water."

To watch the movie, click here. 

Look for this poem in Kindergarten, Week 16 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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41. PFAS: “Scientific Inquiry” by Susan Blackaby

Check out Sherry D's extremely clever film for Susan Blackaby's poem, "Scientific Inquiry." She uses hilarious homemade Einstein and Marie Curie puppet-like characters to communicate the essential ideas in the poem. (And you gotta love her ending slide with her "Give Sherry an A" production credit.)

Click here.

You'll find this wonderful poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, Fifth grade, Week 1.

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42. PFAS: “Step Outside What Do You See” by Allan Wolf

Pamela B. uses nature photographs and images of children to convey the questions in Allan Wolf's poem, "Step Outside, What Do You See."

Click here.

You'll find this poem in Kindergarten, Week 4 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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43. PFAS: “Thirsty Measures” by Heidi Bee Roemer

Ready for another poem movie moment?

Kelly M. does a wonderful job with "Thirsty Measures" by Heidi Bee Roemer.  Watch for the hilarious surprise ending!

Click here. 

You'll find this poem in Fifth Grade, Week 26 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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44. New LBH Poetry Award winner for 2014: ETCHED IN CLAY

The latest recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award was recently announced. 

This year’s winner is Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet written by Andrea Cheng, with woodcuts by the author, published by Lee & Low Books (2013). The award and a $1000 prize, courtesy of award founder Lee Bennett Hopkins, will be presented at Penn State University in the fall.

Two honor books were also selected: 

Ron Koertge's novel in verse Coaltown Jesus (Candlewick Press, 2013)

Rutherford B., Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by John Hendrix (Disney-Hyperion, 2013)

Fore more information, go here

And for resources for sharing the previous award and honor books, look for the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Teaching Toolbox.

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45. Book Links: Science and Poetry

In my quest to catch up, allow me to share my Book Links column on science poetry here. It featured a wonderful poem by Cynthia Cotten (but you'll have to get a copy of the November issue of Book Links for that).

Connecting Science and Poetry
By Sylvia Vardell

In a recent article, “Physics And Poetry: Can You Handle The Truth?” writer Adam Frank admitted, “Poems and poetry are, for me, a deep a form of knowing, just like science. Yes, obviously, they are different. But each, in its way, is a way to understand the world.” Although it may seem surprising, poets and scientists both seek to observe, explain, and understand the world around them. Poet Sara Holbrook reminds us, “In fact, in Ancient Greece there was no distinction between a scientist, poet, or philosopher” (2005, p. 92). Linking reading and science offers opportunities to develop both comprehension skill and content knowledge and poetry is the perfect vehicle for capitalizing on those teachable moments of overlap and connection. Poetry’s brevity, conceptual focus, and rich vocabulary make it a natural teaching tool for connecting with science. Several additional advantages come with using poetry across the science curriculum:
  • Poetry is accessible to a wide range of reading abilities.
  • The brief format of much poetry taps the essence of a subject.
  • Poetry can provide sensory experiences, giving children the sense of touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing.
  • Poetry can make a topic memorable through the use of highly charged words and vivid images.
  • Poetry can help children talk about issues that concern them.
Poetry often involves a high level of abstraction in language and ideas, and requires specific critical thinking skills and deeper comprehension. Infusing poetry across the curriculum can serve to jump-start or introduce a topic, present examples of terminology or concepts, provide closure that is concept-rich, or extend a topic further. Plus, there are many thematic poetry collections devoted to science-related subjects, such as animals, weather, seasons, space, dinosaurs, and geography, to name a few. Look for the Newbery honor poetry book, Dark Emperor and other Poems of the Night (2010) or Ubiquitous (2010) by Joyce Sidman or A Strange Place to Call Home: The World’s Most Dangerous Habitats and the Animals That Call Them Home (2012) or A Full Moon is Rising (2011) by Marilyn Singer, for just a few recent examples.
All kinds of books have a great deal of potential for supporting science learning. A brief consideration of recently published poetry books will quickly reveal many poems that connect with the sciences and several poets who regularly create poetry books with science-rich content like Joyce Sidman and Marilyn Singer, as well as Avis Harley, Jane Yolen, Carole Gerber, Leslie Bulion, J. Patrick Lewis, Betsy Franco, and Douglas Florian, among others.

Getting started with science poetry
One way to begin incorporating science-themed poetry is to inject poems into activities that are already a part of your schedule. If you share Mother Goose rhymes with young children, try The Green Mother Goose; Saving the World One Rhyme at a Time edited by Jan Peck and David Davis (2011). Or start a story time with a seasonal poem from Sid Farrar’s book, The Year Comes Round: Haiku through the Seasons (2012) or a selection from Lee Bennett Hopkins’s collection, Sharing the Seasons (2010). If you want to invite students to read aloud, look for Carole Gerber’s poetry for two voices, Seeds, Bees, Butterflies, and More! If you regularly provide support for science units, try connecting thematic poetry collections with those topics. Look for Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems (2012) by Kate Coombs or At the Sea Floor Café; Odd Ocean Critter Poems (2011) by Leslie Bulion to supplement an “oceans” unit or Face Bug: Poems (2013) by J. Patrick Lewis or Nasty Bugs (2012) edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins or Bug Off! Creepy Crawly Poems (2012) by Jane Yolen for the study of insects. No matter what we are already doing to promote science learning, poetry can help supplement, support, and enrich it. 

Pairing poetry and informational books
Pairing science-themed nonfiction or informational books and poetry may seem to be an unlikely partnership at first, but these two different genres can complement one another by showing children how writers approach the same topic in very different and distinctive ways. In addition, children will see that they can learn a lot of information from both a poem and a work of nonfiction. Poetry has an advantage over informational prose in that it typically consists of many fewer words. Poems can be read and reread in very little time and each rereading can be approached in a slightly different way, for example, through choral reading or poetry performance. Look for poetry anthologies organized by subject matter, when possible, since they help make the content connection obvious. Here are some suggested pairings of nonfiction books and poetry collections on related science topics:

1. Pair Steve Jenkins’s Actual Size (2004) with Valerie Worth’s Animal Poems (2007) or Pug (2013)
2. Pair Peter Sis’s The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin (2003) with Mary Ann Hoberman’s and Linda Wilson’s poetry anthology,The Tree That Time Built: A Celebration of Nature, Science, and Imagination (2009)
3. Pair Sy Montgomery’s The Tarantula Scientist (2004) with Jill Corcoran’s poetry collections about people who Dare to Dream… Change the World (2012)
4. Pair Tanya Lee Stone’s Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (2009) with J. Patrick Lewis’s biographical poetry book, Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women (2005)
5. Pair Caitlin O’Connell’s and Donna M. Jackson’s, The Elephant Scientist (2011) with Tracie Vaughn Zimmer’s Cousins of Clouds; Elephant Poems (2011)
6. Pair Brian Floca’s Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 (2009) with Amy Sklansky’s Out of This World: Poems and Facts About Space (2012)
7. Pair James M. Deem’s Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past  (2008) with Jane Yolen’s Once Upon Ice and Other Frozen Poems (1997)

Share these science poetry titles in combination with the nonfiction work on the same topic, examining how information is presented in prose or poetry. Read excerpts or selections aloud and identify the key details shared in each passage. Consider how the book’s illustrations (whether as paintings, prints, or photographs) offer details alongside the poetry. Make a Venn diagram showing what facts are gleaned from the poetry, from the nonfiction work, and which overlap in both sources. 

Jump-starting the research process
In his anthology, The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry (2012), J. Patrick Lewis provides an introduction to many, many different animals in over 200 poems—all illustrated with stunning full-color photographs. A second grade teacher used the book prior to the annual research project on animals to push children to go beyond the familiar cats and dogs they usually choose as their research subjects. She read widely from the poems and showed the illustrations, introducing animals like the tortoise, flamingo, yak, etc. They browsed through the book and brainstormed a list of possible animals to study. As they chose their subject (in pairs or small groups), she led them to reading informational picture books, looking for three key facts about their chosen animals. Then she ended with reading aloud more animal poems to see which factual details were repeated in the poetry. Look for more animal poetry books like: Amy Gibson’s Around the World on Eighty Legs: Animals Poems (2011) or Katherine Hauth’s What’s for Dinner? Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World (2011) or Janet Wong’s Once Upon A TigerNew Beginnings for Endangered Animals (2011).

Creating “found” poems
Children can also work together to create a collaborative “found” poem from a science source. Use a descriptive paragraph from a nonfiction book or a news article or encyclopedia entry as your information source. Students underline or highlight what they think are the most important words in the informational passage. Which words are essential to describing the subject? Then the students copy the words in a vertical list and a poem begins to emerge. Students decide which words are essential and which arrangement is both clear and most poetic. Then post the poem alongside the original source and talk about these two different ways of sharing information. Georgia Heard offers examples of “found” poems in her book, The Arrow Finds its Mark: A Book of Found Poems (2012).

Creating a collaborative mural
For a more visual approach, students can work in pairs or small groups and do research on a specific subject in a unit of study, seeking out relevant poems, and creating a visual product to share their findings and impressions. This can take many forms, both physical and digital, but I love the old-fashioned mural. For example, the topic of space is a popular one in science study and lends itself to an expansive project. Gather a set of space poetry books like Amy Sklansky’s Out of This World: Poems and Facts About Space (2012) and Douglas Florian’s Comets, stars, the moon, and mars (2007) and invite students to choose a favorite poem and topic. They can copy the poem, research the topic further with print or online resources, and then create a collaborative drawing or tissue paper collage to represent their topic—posting both their art and selected poem on a door or wall covered in black craft paper. Many more ideas can be found at online teaching resources like NASA.gov (using the “For Educators” link), and Energy.gov.

Science in The Poetry Friday Anthology series
For more science-specific poetry, look for The Poetry Friday Anthology series for the elementary grades (K-5) and middle school (grades 6-8) which features “Science and Technology” as one of the weekly themes. This includes poems on topics such as Skyping, apps, texting, and computer screens and keyboards—unexpected subjects for poetry. In addition, “Take 5” mini-lessons and activities are provided for every poem, too. The new Poetry Friday Anthology for Science focuses exclusively on science with a poem-a-week for every grade level, K-5 focused on the following themes: scientific practices, lab safety, questioning, observations, predictions, hypotheses, investigations, scientific tools, data, matter, force, motion, and energy, light and sound, space, sun, earth and moon, the water cycle, weather and climate, forces of nature, soil and land, natural resources, ecosystems, adaptations and traits, cycles, patterns, the human body, kitchen science, video technology, building things, simple machines, the science fair, famous scientists, science careers, and future dreams and challenges. Contributing poets include: Susan Blackaby, Leslie Bulion, Joseph Bruchac, Kate Coombs, Cynthia Cotton, Kristy Dempsey, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Margarita Engle, Douglas Florian, Carole Gerber, Mary Lee Hahn, Avis Harley, David L. Harrison, Sara Holbrook, Jacqueline Jules, Bobbi Katz, Julie Larios, J. Patrick Lewis, Kenn Nesbitt, Linda Sue Park, Heidi Bee Roemer, Laura Purdie Salas, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Lee Wardlaw, and Janet Wong—with some poems even in bilingual, Spanish/English versions. Interested in a sneak peek at The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science due out in spring, 2014? Send an email to info@pomelobooks.com for a free digital sampler.

Outstanding Science Trade Books list
And don’t forget to check out the annual list of “Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12” produced by the National Science Teachers Association in collaboration with the Children’s Book Council. This list typically includes 1-2 new books of science-themed poetry (as well as science-rich literature in other genres) every year. For more information as well as previous book lists, go to http://www.nsta.org/ostb.

Poetry in nature magazines
Many magazines and serials that are published for children also regularly feature poems. In fact, magazines are often the first medium in which many new poets get their work published. The poems in magazines are often new and not yet available in books, so they can be fresh and fun to seek out and share. Nature and science magazines include poetry regularly. See, for example, Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, ChickaDEE, and Odyssey. Children who are avid subscribers may enjoy sharing poems from their favorite magazines.

Professional resources for science and poetry
There are many helpful resources that offer insight on the new science standards as well as helpful teaching strategies including:
_____. 2012. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. 
Honey, Margaret and Kanter, David E. 2013. Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators. New York: Routledge. 
Sousa, David A. and Pilecki, Tom. 2013. From STEM to STEAM: Using Brain-Compatible Strategies to Integrate the Arts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Vardell, Sylvia. 2012. The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
Vasquez, Jo Anne; Sneider, Cary and Comer, Michael. 2013. Grades 3-8 STEM Lesson Essentials: Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Portsmouth: NH: Heinemann.

There are also several key professional resources that support using poetry in science. This includes Using Poetry Across the Curriculum (2010), by Barbara Chatton which provides comprehensive lists of several hundred poetry books and poems organized around the national science standards including: inquiry, scientific tools, physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space science, technology, personal and social perspectives, and the history and nature of science. Poet Sara Holbrook offers do-able strategies for infusing poetry across the curriculum in her book, Practical Poetry; A Nonstandard Approach to Meeting Content-Area Standards (2005). And in my own book, The Poetry Teacher’s Book of Lists (2012) you’ll find bibliographies and lists of tips and strategies for selecting and sharing poetry across the curriculum, including lists of poetry books gathered around the topics of: seasons, spring, Earth Day, summer, animals, birds, cats, dinosaurs, dogs, food, gardens and gardening, insects and bugs, mathematics, general science, space and the planets, time, trees, and weather. 

In her work Give Them Poetry: A Guide for Sharing Poetry with Children K–8, Glenna Sloan (2003) issues “a word of caution in the matter of ‘using’ poetry in the service of other areas of study: Poetry should be allowed to develop literacy on its own” (16). There are many possibilities for linking poetry with subject matter, but do not forget to stop and enjoy the poems for their own sake, too. That’s a good reminder.
The more connections we can provide between what children are learning in various areas of study, the deeper their learning will be. If poetry can be that vehicle for connecting books, skills, concepts, and information across the curriculum, we owe it to children to infuse poetry wherever we can. We can encourage children to think like a poet AND a scientist in observing the world around them, using all their senses, seeing how things work and gathering “big words” as they read, write, and learn. As Albert Einstein reminds us, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

This topic-- science and poetry-- has become my most recent obsession and my friend and collaborator, Janet Wong, are working away on launching The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. Stay tuned for details. 

Plus, we'll be making a presentation on this very topic at the next conference of the International Reading Association in May. With the new emphasis on the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), we are trying to position POETRY as a must-get resource for SCIENCE. More to come.

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46. Science Poetry: Student Editions

It's been one week since Janet (Wong) and I released our latest project, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, and we've been blown away by the response!  We're so proud of the book and so excited about the crossover possibilities for science and poetry in the classroom.

But we're also very excited about the latest innovation: Student Editions for each grade level!

In addition to the massive Teacher's Edition that follows our usual format of a poem-a-week for grades Kindergarten through fifth grade, we are also publishing Student Editions that feature the poems for each individual grade level (with no Take 5! mini-lessons). And each of those books includes five "bonus" poems as extras! PLUS, these books have art! We've included fun black-and-white sketches for each poem to add visual interest. 

Just for fun, I've made a mini-movie to showcase ONE of these student editions. See what you think! (Very rough, very homemade, very handheld!) Check it out here.

And here's a closer look at a screenshot of a sample page (with art):

Weather-related poems are always fun, don't you think?!

Special thanks to German artist Frank Ramspott and Taiwanese artist Bug Wang for their art for our student editions!

Get your copies now at Pomelo Books!

Now head on over to Reflections on the Teche for the Poetry Friday gathering. 

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47. Take 5 for Poetry and Science

Please allow me to plug my new project (with Janet Wong) once again...  The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science is first and foremost a quality anthology of original poetry for children written by 78 of today’s most popular poets. Children in any grade can enjoy, explore, and respond to these poems. However, we have also come to realize that educators, librarians, and parents are looking for guidance in how to share poetry with children and connect with the science curriculum at the same time. Thus, this book offers both: quality poetry organized by grade level plus curriculum-based suggestions in Take 5 mini-lessons for helping children enjoy and understand poetry AND science.

In The Poetry Friday Anthology series, we have borrowed the phrase “Take 5” from the great jazz musician Dave Brubeck to advocate taking time for poetry every Friday to introduce and share a poem—in this case a science-centric poem. Once again, in our science-themed anthology, we provide “Take 5” activities for each poem to help teachers, librarians, and parents share  poems and invite students to listen and read along, plus questions, activities, and book suggestions for considering the science content of each poem. 
The “Take 5” approach is based on a constructivist model of learning and encourages engagement and exploration in particular. The Take 5! activities provided are tied to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, as well as the science and technology TEKS in Texas) while also incorporating the literacy skills identified in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Obviously, poetry sharing doesn’t take the place of planned science instruction, but the two complement each other well. It’s also possible to match poems and science lessons using the weekly themes or the index at the back of the book to identify relevant science topics. 
In The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, we offer 36 weeks of original poems for each grade level on the following topics. These designated weekly themes cross all levels, K–5. This provides a school-wide connection as each grade enjoys a different poem on the same topics including:
scientific practices 
lab safety 
predictions & hypotheses 
scientific tools 
force, motion & energy 
light & sound 
sun, earth & moon 
the water cycle 
weather & climate 
forces of nature
soil & land 
natural resources 
adaptations & traits 
the human body 
kitchen science 
video technology 
building things 
the science fair 
famous scientists 
science careers 
future challenges 
future dreams

Here are some sample poems and the Take 5 activities that accompany the poems. 

Naturally, a single poem is not intended to be the entire science lesson, but it offers an innovative, engaging, vocabulary-full, and concept-rich way to launch or conclude a science lesson. Science expert Jill Castek challenges us to “break down those instructional silos” of science and literacy and look for opportunities to maximize overlap. We need to ensure that vocabulary exposure is occurring in many contexts for maximum scaffolding and science learning. In her essay, “Teaching science when your principal says ‘teach language arts,’” Valarie Akerson notes, “It is possible to use language arts to support science learning and to use science as a purpose for learning language arts” (2002, p. 22). And Royce, Morgan, and Ansberry (2012) confirm “studies have shown gains in literacy as well as science achievement in programs that blend science and literacy instruction” (p. 6).

Whether we introduce a poem at the beginning of the day, when transitioning to lunch or at a break, tied to a science lesson, or for wrapping things up, “breaking” for poetry provides a moment to refresh and engage. This doesn’t mean that a more in-depth study of poetry as well as science is not a good idea. Of course it is. But for the average teacher or librarian, consistently sharing a five-minute poem break is an effective practice for injecting poetry into the routine. And with these science-themed poems, we offer the added bonus of infusing science content into this language experience.

Get your copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science now and be ready for National Poetry Month in April.  Head on over to Rogue Anthropologist for this week’s Poetry Friday gathering. See you there!

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48. The TENTH Annual Poetry Round Up at TLA

It's that time again-- time for the annual conference of the Texas Library Association, one of my favorite events of the year. This time we're heading to San Antonio-- always a fun convention city. The weather should be sunny and warm and I'll be hosting.... drum roll.... the TENTH annual Poetry Round Up on Friday, April 11. TEN YEARS! I can't believe a whole decade has flown by! We've now showcased 57 poets over the years-- a veritable "Who's Who" of poets who write for young people:

Adoff, Jaime
Alexander, Kwame
Appelt, Kathi
Bagert, Brod 
Brown, Calef 
Bryant, Jen
Bulion, Leslie
Crunk, Tony
Cyrus, Kurt
Dotlich, Rebecca Kai
Durango, Julia
Engle, Margarita
Florian, Douglas 
Franco, Betsy
Frank, John
Frost, Helen
George, Kristine O’Connell
Graham, Joan Bransfield
Grimes, Nikki 
Harper, Charise Mericle
Havill, Juanita
Heard, Georgia
Hemphill, Stephanie
Herrera, Juan Felipe 
Hopkins, Lee Bennett
Jensen, Dana
Katz, Alan
Kehoe, Stasia
Lewis, J. Patrick
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia 
McLaughlin, Timothy
Mora, Pat 
Mordhorst, Heidi Zingerline
Myers, Walter Dean
Ode, Eric
Park, Linda Sue Park
Pearson, Susan
Rex, Adam
Richey, Will
Salas, Laura Purdie
Salinger, Michael
Sidman, Joyce 
Singer, Marilyn 
Smith, Hope Anita
Spinelli, Eileen
Tafolla, Carmen
Troupe, Quincy
VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig
Waters, Charles
Weatherford, Carole Boston
Weinstock, Robert
Weston, Robert Paul
Wheeler, Lisa
Wilson, Karma
Wong, Janet 
Yolen, Jane
Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn 

This year, our line-up features: 

I can't wait to hear them all!

THANK YOU to all the poets who have participated over the years and to our wonderful audience who attends year after year. Welcome, newbies, too. If you've never attended, this is the year. We'll have handouts, book guides, treats, and tons of book door prizes! Special thanks to these publishers and their wonderful representatives for bringing the poets to TLA: Penguin Books for Young Readers and Sara Ortiz; Boyds Mills Press and Kerry McManus; Simon & Schuster and Venessa Carson and Michelle Fadlalla; Wings Press and Bryce Milligan; Lisa Di Sarro and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Pelican Publishing; Pomelo Books. 

Each poet will be reading from her/his works-- and there is nothing quite like hearing the poems read by their creators. Once again, I'll try to capture a few moments on video and post those later this spring. 

Meanwhile, go look for the wonderful works by these lovely writers.

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Alexander, Kwame. 2014. The Crossover. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Engle, Margaret. 2006. The Poet Slave of Cuba. Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2008. The Surrender Tree.Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2009. Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba. Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2010. The Firefly Letters; A Suffragette's Journey to Cuba. Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2011. Hurricane Dancers; The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2012. The Wild Book. Houghton Mifflin.
Engle, Margarita. 2013. Mountain Dog. Henry Holt.
Engle, Margarita. 2014. Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Engle, Margarita. 2014. Tiny Rabbit's Big Wish.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Graham, Joan Bransfield. 1994. Splish Splash. Houghton Mifflin.
Graham, Joan Bransfield. 1999. Flicker Flash. Houghton Mifflin.
Graham, Joan Bransfield. 2014. The Poem That Will Not End. Two Lions.
Grimes, Nikki. 1994. Meet Danitra Brown. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Grimes, Nikki. 1998. A Dime a Dozen. Dial.
Grimes, Nikki. 1998. Jazmin’s Notebook. Dial.
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Grimes, Nikki. 1999. My Man Blue: Poems. Dial.
Grimes, Nikki. 2001. A Pocketful of Poems. Clarion.
Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Bronx Masquerade. Dial.
Grimes, Nikki. 2004. What is Goodbye? Jump at the Sun/Hyperion.
Grimes, Nikki. 2005. Danitra Brown, Class Clown. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
Grimes, Nikki. 2005. Dark Sons. Hyperion.
Grimes, Nikki. 2006. Thanks a Million.Amistad.
Grimes, Nikki. 2007. When Gorilla Goes Walking. Orchard.
Grimes, Nikki. 2011. Planet Middle School. Bloomsbury.
Grimes, Nikki. 2013. Words with Wings.Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
Grimes, Nikki. 2014. Poems in the Attic.  Lee & Low. 
Ode, Eric. 2007. Tall Tales of the Wild West: A Humorous Collection of Cowboy Poems & Songs. Meadowbrook.
Ode, Eric. 2012. Dan, the Taxi Man. Kane/Miller.
Ode, Eric. 2012. When You're a Pirate Dog and Other Pirate Poems. Pelican.
Ode, Eric. 2013. Sea Star Wishes: Poems from the Coast. Sasquatch Books/Random House.  
Sidman, Joyce. 2002. Eureka! Poems about Inventors. Millbrook.
Sidman, Joyce. 2003. The World According to Dog: Poems and Teen Voices. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2005. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2006. Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2006. Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poetry. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2007. This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2009. Red Sings From Treetops; A Year in Colors. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2010. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2010. Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors. Houghton Mifflin.
Sidman, Joyce. 2013. What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms & Blessings. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Sidman, Joyce. 2014. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Tafolla, Carmen. 2008. That's Not Fair! / No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice. Wings Press.
Tafolla, Carmen. 2009. What Can You Do With a Paleta? Tricycle Press.
Tafolla, Carmen. 2010. Fiesta Babies.Tricycle Press.
Tafolla, Carmen. 2012. Rebozos. Wings Press.
Wilson, Karma. 2009. What's the Weather Inside?Simon & Schuster.
Wilson, Karma. 2014. Outside the Box. Ill. by Diane Goode. Margaret K. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 1994. Good Luck Gold and Other Poems. Margaret K. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 1996. A Suitcase of Seaweed, and Other Poems. Booksurge.
Wong, Janet S. 1999. Behind the Wheel:  Poems about Driving. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 2000. Night Garden:  Poems from the World of Dreams. McElderry
Wong, Janet S. 2003. Knock on Wood: Poems about Superstitions. McElderry.
Wong, Janet S. 2003. Minn and Jake. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Wong, Janet S. 2007. Twist: Yoga Poems. McElderry.
Wong, Janet. 2008. Minn and Jake’s Almost Terrible Summer. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Wong, Janet. 2011. Once Upon A Tiger: New Beginnings for Endangered Animals.OnceUponaTiger.com.
Wong, Janet. 2012. Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election Year. PoetrySuitcase.

I am so gratified that TLA continues to value this session and keep it on the conference program. Special thanks to the Children's Round Table for sponsoring this popular presentation. Having a poetry showcase during April, National Poetry Month is a fantastic treat!

Downloadable NPM poster available here:
Speaking of National Poetry Month, once again I'm going to try to post daily during April. This year, I'll be showcasing poem movies created by my wonderful graduate students-- teachers and librarians enrolled in my spring course on poetry for children and young adults. They've created some clever, engaging, and evocative mini-movies-- each featuring a single poem from my latest collaboration, The Poetry Friday Anthology FOR SCIENCE with a wide variety of poets and poems highlighted. They've used kids, nature photographs, music, and even LEGOs to make one-minute videos that bring each poem to life! Come back every day in April to check them out. 

Meanwhile, head on over to A Year of Reading, the fabulous coordinator of all our weekly Poetry Friday celebrations to see what's up around the Web!

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49. PFAS: "Which Ones Will Float?" by Eric Ode

Throughout the month of April, National Poetry Month, I'll be posting a poem movie each day. These were all created by my wonderful graduate students enrolled in my spring course in poetry for children and young adults. They are teachers and librarians who are learning about poetry for young people and experimenting with how we can use technology creatively to promote poetry and children's responses to poetry. They've used a variety of media tools and approaches, but each has created something unique and engaging. 

All the poems are selected from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science-- just out in March. (Please forgive the shameless promotion here, but it also enabled my students to be part of something new-- plus the copyright issues were manageable with this project. And copyright is a Big Deal for both teachers/librarians AND poets!)

When possible, I'll also showcase the poem text here along with the video. 

We hope you'll share these with the young people in your lives and invite them to join you in creating your own poem movies and poetry moments!

First up:

Jennifer M. presents "Which Ones Will Float” by Eric Ode. 
Click here.

From 3rd Grade, Week 1 in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

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50. PFAS: “Looking at the Sky Tonight” by Janet Wong

Time to showcase another poem movie! This one is by Morgan L. and features the poem, "Looking at the Sky Tonight" by Janet Wong. I think she really captures the quiet spirit of the poem, don't you?

Click here. 

You'll find this poem in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science: First Grade, Week 14.

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